Rockies Cutting Ties With Jose Lopez

The Rockies have the best run differential in the National League West, but that's not saying much and anyway they've got a losing record. So a head has rolled. From the Denver Post:

Infielder Jose Lopez, hitting just .208, was designated for assignment after the game. Although the Rockies would not officially confirm the move, Lopez was saying goodbyes to teammates after the game. His likely replacement is Eric Young Jr., currently with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He has been primarily an outfielder with the Sky Sox.

--snip--

Lopez believes he would have produced for the Rockies if he had gotten more playing time.

"I think if I get more at-bats, I would start hitting," he said.

Maybe. But that's probably what the Mariners thought last year, right? When Lopez got 593 at-bats and hit .239/.270/.339? Granted, he's somehow been even worse this year and might come around (a little) if given more time. But what's the upside? When the Rockies offered him $3.6 million last winter, they presumably figured the upside was Lopez's 2008-2009, when he played a solid second base and averaged nearly 70 extra-base hits per season.

Considering that Lopez is only 27 and based purely on the numbers, $3.6 million struck me then (and still strikes me) as a reasonable gamble. It just didn't work out. Management probably deserves some credit for eating the rest of that $3.6 million -- it's a sunk cost, after all -- and moving forward.

Of course, moving ahead with Jonathan Herrera as your every-day second baseman isn't exactly a fantastic long-term plan, and Ty Wigginton's not exactly setting the world afire at third base. But you can only do so much in May. If Carlos Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez wind up performing roughly like they did last year, most of the Rockies' other concerns will melt away.

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